Christopher Knight, the Los Angeles Times Art Critic has written up an interesting article on Jeffrey Deitch’s start as Director (the fourth in 30 years) and gives his point of view on where the reality of life in LA can begin to match the goals of the Museum. Numbers mater in the Art world even if we don’t want to talk about it and MOCA’s attendance has been dropping steadily for years. Couple that with the fiscal mismanagement gamble back in 2008 where they created a budget that relied on donor money to coverÂ aroundÂ 80% of the cost (money that evaporatedÂ with the crash) and things were pretty bleak.
The consensus & expectation is that Jeffrey Deitch will bring the kind of shows and energy that will rally the general population of LA and raise attendance above it’s current 600 people a day. Think about that, 600 people, more people visit this site then MOCA in a given day and MOCA is spending $20 Million a year. MOCA has a wonderful collection and this isn’t a referendum by the people of LA on Art but on the growing disconnect between Art Tastemakers and the general population. A rift that has been growing for years with little to noÂ abatement.
It’s not just LA, we have had the same debates on hours of operation & marketing of events in Chicago for over 5 years. Christopher Knight goes on to offer his advice on what Mr. Deitch might want to examine as Director and the second I can agree with aspects of, the first not so much:
1. General admission: take it from $10 to free
I have always questioned why everything needs to be free. In my experience people have a habit of discounting what they don’t pay for and it effects the overall opinion. Work at a bar (or the music industry these days) and you can see that in action, lines and a small cover even if they are annoying increase the overall pleasure of the experience as long as guests expectations are met once they enter. Also even if the door charge is less then 10% of the budget that is still a valuable/usefull daily cash flow even for an institution of that size. Art like any other business lives and breathes on cash flow.
I would suggest price pointing it at $5 a person and make it free to seniors, students & active military (for many solid reasons not worth rehashing here). At that price it has a real value, isÂ proportionedÂ correctly to films, concerts & other nightlife activities and doesn’tÂ nullifyÂ the whole selling point of yearly membership.
2. Hours of Operation: take it from closing at 5-6pm & 8pm on Thursday to moreÂ befittingÂ late nights.
No argument but very tricky and might not be asÂ usefulÂ as even I thought years ago. This just might be a tourist/weekday local/weekend world we live in.
The one thing that Mr. Knight doesn’t tackle is the one thing that everyone is so afraid of about Jeffrey Dietch as Director, the “curatorial” focus of the exhibits and I think more so “how they are marketed to the world”. Everyone is waiting on baited breath since it seems no one has faith that anÂ intelligentÂ discussion on Art can be molded into a form of interest to the general public. That is the great experiment going on in LA and if it is successful could echo throughout the American Art World as a whole and faster then you might think.
Her collection of work is widely known, diverse, fun and she will be missed.
Louise who was inducted into the U.S. National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2009 is survived by two sons, Alain & Jean Louis, as well as by two grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Her husband and a third son, Michel, predeceased her.
It’s been a long time since MTV has been on my radar for various reasons but Les Grossman from “Tropic Thunder” two years ago is reason enough for 3 or 4 posts. When Tom Cruise first played him back in 2008 it was to the delight of almost everyone I knew and myself. Now Les is back with more and is “producing” this years MTV Movie Awards.
The question now is can comedic lightning strike twice?
Starting Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, through Labor Day, September 6, 2010 over 700 MuseumsÂ will offer free admission to active military personnel and their families. This list organized by the National Endowment for the Arts & Â Blue Star Families (a non-partisan, non-profit organization, created by military families for military families)Â includes The Met, The MOMA, The Whitney, The Guggenheim, not to mention Chicago’s Art Institute & MCA. The complete museum list broken down by state can be found here.
This is a wonderful program that is both good politics, good business & good karma. I would love to see the Art Institute & MCA get together and lead the way by extending it to not only the summer but year round and for as long as America is at war. OurÂ museumsÂ in all 50 states have a sum collection of history and culture that isÂ unrivaledÂ throughout the world. A treasure that every militaryÂ personnelÂ should be welcomed andÂ encouragedÂ to see with open arms.
Chicago is the city ofÂ tomorrow, lets have Chicago lead the way.
UPDATE: After speaking with Erin Hogan Director of PublicÂ AffairsÂ with the Art Institute to clarify what the difference/change was in ongoing policy she explained that the established policy was active military were free but with Blue Star for the summer families of active military would be free as well. Also the website would be updated to better reflect this policy.
This is great to hear and hope it is a big success.
This week: Brian Andrews and Duncan MacKenzie check in with JudithÂ Leemann and Shannon Stratton while visiting Portland, Oregon and discuss theirÂ most recent curatorial endeavor the “Gestures of Resistance” exhibition at Portland’sÂ Museum of Contemporary Craft.
We talk about problematizing the standard static exhibition,Â how a viewer can access a dynamic and evolving show, what an object beÂ “loaded” with, and the problem with placards.
The exhibition includes…
Sara Black and John Preus, Anthea Black, Carol Lung, Cat Mazza, MungÂ Lar Lam, Ehren Tool, and Theaster Gates.